Did You Lose Yourself After Your Last breakup?

Edy Zoo
10 min readSep 20, 2022


Be honest and ask yourself this question.

A broken heart hanging from a thread.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Curiosity is a bitch, especially after a breakup. It’s a hell wide open that will devour your soul.

Here’s something that’ll sound familiar to you. Tuesday night. Nothing to do. You lounge idly on your bed, trying to forget your ex. But, of course, you’re half-naked with your hair a mess. It’s how you decompress after Monday’s shitshow with its endless email catchups.

You scroll through your favorite social media timeline. You see an ad for an online dating site. What the hell? You need to get over your ex anyways, so you give it a go.

You open an account, set up your newly minted profile, and start swiping. A few are decent. Most are a reminder of how bad this idea is but you truck through it.

You wake up Wednesday to a few connections. Intriguing connections. So, you chat. Immediately, you see beyond the looks of some and realize they were cute at first, but boy, let me unmatch right now.

Then, there’s one who says something funny and innocent. Several jokes and harmless innuendos follow that up. Before you know it, you’re hooked. Over the next few days, all you do is spend countless hours texting back and forth.

Hey, I’m free on Saturday. Wanna go out? Reads one.

Lemme make sure I have nothing going. Can I get back to you? You reply.

You maul it over before committing. First, you think about the scenarios: what may go wrong or what may go right. Then, before replying, you ponder your backup plans and even talk it over with a close friend or two. Then, finally, you feel good about it.

You answer, yes.

Saturday swings around sooner than expected, but you get yourself done right. A haircut, maybe; a new color for your nails, possibly; perhaps, a new outfit — you do what you think is best to put yourself favorably before your date.

At last, you meet at the local bar or pub. He looks relatively the same as in his online pictures. However, he has also gone to lengths to prepare for this day, so you see him as attractive and pleasing.

You order your drink, intending to babysit it and talk.

He orders a drink — no two, no three — intending to drink and spew a belly-aching hatred for his last ex. Bam. Here comes the bullshit.

It’s a condensed story that sounds familiar to you and countless others. But, unfortunately, it plays out every weekend everywhere — pretty much on every continent — even Antarctica.

People are full of bullshit, and modern dating has no shortage of such people. Get used to it. But why did you get trapped in it again? Why does it seem like you’re dating your ex on an endless cycle?

Know Yourself

Who are you?

A hard fact to swallow: no one was born knowing who they were.

You have had to spend some years knowing yourself, your likes, your dislikes, and your triggers. It wasn’t an overnight thing; although, at times, you sell yourself as an overnight package — that’s an expensive remedy for cheap content.

However, who are you?

You are the collection of ideas and experiences processed exponentially throughout your life. You are love; you are hate; you are jealousy; you are trust; you are insecurity; you are companionship. You are… you are perfectly molded by imperfect hands, which were once amateurs but now have crafted flawlessly.

That’s who you are. However, you sold yourself at a 30% discount to someone who wouldn’t even pay a dollar for you?

I will tell you why — you forgot who you were.

You thought I would say you didn’t know who you were? You know. You know better than anyone walking this earth. You just forgot. But you didn’t forget out of necessity to clear up space in your brain. You forgot out of choice. You chose to set aside your self-definition to allow someone else to define you. As a result, you lost your ability to defend yourself. Do you know why? Because you can’t DEFEND what you can’t DEFINE.

And here you are — a lost, non-defined human hoping to find your better half in a modern dating world where the best mate you can see is an eighth of what you’re looking for.

I will ask you again, who are you? Can you even answer that question?

I think with help you can answer. I will jog your memory by helping you focus on four key areas: your likes, your dislikes, your motivation, and your personality.

I’m not suggesting that this snapshot is enough to tell the world about you. Instead, I’m merely assuming that these four areas are all you need to jumpstart yourself to remember who you are.

A collection of social media emojis painted on a gray wall.
Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash


What do you like? What do you like to eat? What do you like to do? What do you like to wear? What do you like to drink? You can regain your self-definition by merely focusing on these questions and similar ones. Returning to the senses and re-exploring your likes through them can be a powerful way to rediscover yourself. What favorite foods did you give up for someone? Anyone? Ask yourself and answer it honestly.

Years ago, I learned a valuable lesson: Edy, no one will ever be as excited as you for your likes — not even your momma. And that is a fact of life. Hell, why would they? They’re my likes. Not theirs. Similarly, with you. So why sacrifice your likes?

What do you gain in doing so? Self-worth? How can your value come from the fiat of another person who’s as flawed as you? What made them the appraiser of you? Instead, who made them the appraiser of you? Think hard.

So the power is in your hands. You give it away. You recapture it. It’s there.

Remember your favorite clothes? Did you give them away to the local thrift shop? Or are they packed in a box buried in your storage?

They were what you liked. They were your emotional expression exhibited outwardly. Maybe they’re outdated now, but you would’ve changed with the trends. You would’ve done what you liked.

Let me teach you something powerful: you fulfill your basic psychological needs by doing what you like. Hungry? Eat what you like. Thirsty? Drink what you like. Horny? Fuck who you like and when you like.

Is this principle carnal? Absolutely. Is my message carnal? No! But when speaking of the basic blocks of who you are, I have to start with the reptilian brain. Why? Cause that’s where this shit is stored. God save you if you are willing to sacrifice the very atoms of who you are. But you can’t blame me for not trying to help you.

You are you because you became you. Actually, you are the literal manifestation of your momma’s words. One day, she said I would like to have a baby. Then through fucking, she made you. And that was the last time anyone’s likes defined you.

So don’t regress — progress!

A thumb down emoji covered by raindrops.
Photo by Barefoot Communications on Unsplash


Equally crucial to likes are dislikes.

Having dislikes means you’ve developed a safeguard against those things that will throw down the gauntlet against your core beliefs. And that’s not a negative thing.

Manipulators will try to convince you that dislikes are a great way to be close-minded. That’s bullshit. Dislikes are a great way to keep yourself on the path you’ve hewn down.

No one knows your destiny better than you, and you stay on your trail with the help of dislikes.

What do you dislike? And don’t worry about why. You don’t need a justification for your dislikes. It’s what you dislike, and no one has to understand that.

Well, Edy, how can people understand me?

Well, who the hell said you needed to be understood?

You’ve become a victim of the Plebeian Effect (I just coined that, so give me credit). I define that as following rules and strong suggestions instituted culturally by royals and bureaucrats with zero intentions of adhering to those rules and suggestions.

Again, who told you, you needed to be understood?

They’re your dislikes; no one needs to understand them. What if they ask what your dislikes are? Share them, but you don’t have to explain them.

So what are your dislikes? I’ll give you an example of mine: I dislike stupidity. I despise it, actually. And when I’m talking to someone stupid, I kindly excuse myself from their presence. I don’t belittle or disparage them. I just don’t take the onslaught of something I dislike.

You do the same. Define your dislikes and defend them. Don’t sacrifice them. They are a component — an essential component of who you are. Without your dislikes, you wouldn’t be you. You would be someone else. And I’m sure you have been someone else at some point in your life.

How fun was that? I bet it was not fun at all.


I have long believed that motivation is the precursor to all the decisions we make as humans. What motivates me is what I will put a value on and pursue.

Simply put, motivation has its roots in our likes and dislikes. Our psyche learns to interpret likes and dislikes and assign motivational factors to its interpretation. Doing what I like is compensated and reinforced; doing what I dislike is punished and discontinued.

It’s a reptilian brain response, pretty much.

How does this help you? First, you are guided by your motivation, where you learn to value or devalue things. Then that motivation is reinforced, created, and nurtured by your likes and dislikes. I really want you to understand this.

You jeopardize your motivation if you lose sight of your likes and dislikes. You will not value or pursue those things that are important to you. This loss of psychological direction creates a chaotic world where your psyche has to fill its void. And it does so by anchoring itself to the likes and dislikes of someone else.

In no time, you will find yourself doing things that are the source of motivation for others. In no time, you will find yourself in limbo, lost to the caprices of others.

Your career, health, wealth, and social life will all suffer because you are no longer motivated to pursue these with the best intentions.

Have you ever been in a relationship and felt like there was no compass, map, or direction to where you were supposed to go? I will guarantee that you had lost sight of your likes and dislikes and of those things that motivated you. As a result, you were on a ship lost at sea without winds for your sails.

Motivation, my friend, is powerful!

It is the morning bird chirping songs at your window to wake you up early; it is the sun on the horizon; it is the plow that readies your soil for growth.

Why neglect it?

Why allow it to fall out of your hands? Why? To fulfill the fads and trends of your latest lover? What good does that do for you?

Guard your motivation above all else — it’s the basis of your personality.

A series of broken masks made out pottery clay. They’re on a yellow platform with lighting and shadows.
Photo by Rach Teo on Unsplash

What’s Your Personality?

Not what’s your personality type, but what’s your personality? Don’t look for a type. A type is generally defined as a characteristic shared by a group. You’re unique. You’re not a group. So don’t look for a type. Look for your actual personality.

So, what is it? What is your personality?

What do you mean, Edy?

Good question. Personality has as root the word persona, which in ancient Greece meant to wear a mask. Yeah, I’m oversimplifying. Get over it. Anyway, what’s your mask? We all have one. We all play pivotal roles in this tremendous Greek hybrid comedy/tragedy drama called life. So what is your mask, and what is it made of?

Greek plays were full of different masks. They wore them so that the same actors could play different roles. One interesting point about these masks is that they are believed to be used so that the audience wouldn’t judge the actors on their looks. Instead, the audience could judge the actors on their performances, creating a universal relatable character.

Let’s anchor our discussion on that point. I would venture and say that it serves the same purpose for our personalities. It’s the best way we communicate to the world our universality. It’s how we create a character of ourselves that’s loveable and accepted.

But why is your personality like that? The character you create should be void of the feedback of your audience. You don’t take the room’s temperature before you create your personality. Instead, the room should warm up to you.

I’m not suggesting that you become an asshole. But you must understand a critical point: people form an idea of who you are. So don’t live up to that character. You already have your character, and it’s called your personality.

So, what makes up your personality? It’s composed of your likes and dislikes, reinforcing or punishing your actions. That becomes the basis for your motivation or your goals. It also becomes the molding agent for your personality.

See how vital likes and dislikes are? They are the cornerstone of who you are and who you share with the world.

This article was meant to help quickly guide you to regain who you lost after your recent breakup. So take from it what you think will help you. And please share with your friends.



Edy Zoo

Edy Zoo is an author who writes about social subjects. He contributes to the ever-growing library of social critics.